Track and field: Distance runners lead Bulldogs in Bloomington

On a cold, rainy Friday night in Bloomington, the Butler track team was busy heating things up at the two-day Gladstein Invitational.

Despite a handful of Butler’s top athletes sitting out due to injuries, the Bulldogs managed to come away with a group of strong performances in the meet, which was hosted by Indiana University.

Butler was led by its entire distance crew – current athletes, alumni, newcomers and coaches included.

One of the Bulldogs’ newcomers, freshman Mara Olson, said she was not sure what to expect in her third collegiate meet.

“The [women’s one-] mile [run] is definitely going to be competitive.” Olson said prior to the meet. “It’s nice coming in as a freshman because it’s a blank slate to build on.”

As Olson predicted, the run was competitive – especially among Butler athletes.

The Bulldogs took four of the top five spots in what was an invitational one-mile run.

Because it was an invitational race, former college athletes had the opportunity to compete alongside current college athletes.

Butler assistant coach Mason Cathey won the race in 4:40.72, barely out-kicking junior Kirsty Legg, who finished in 4:40.86.

Junior Katie Clark took third in 4:45.99, and Olson crossed the line in 4:50.36 to take the fifth-place spot.

“Since [Cathey] has been at Butler, she’s improved a lot,” coach Matt Roe said. “It’s a good thing for the girls to see that.”

The men’s 3,000-meter invitational run was also stacked with Butler athletes, including three current runners, two alumni and one assistant coach.

Former standout Kris Gauson posted a third-place finish in 8:01.40 behind Indiana All-American Andy Bayer (7:58.85) and Indiana Elite runner Matt Elliott (7:58.20).

Alumnus Rob Mullett (11th, 8:12.55), freshman Tom Curr (12th, 8:13.47), sophomore Ross Clarke (13th, 8:13.52) and assistant coach Andrew Sherman (14th, 8:14.42) also competed in the event for the Bulldogs.

Butler’s current athletes received their lone victory in the men’s 5,000-meter run, as redshirt sophomore James Martin took top honors with a time of 14:49.47.

Freshman Nicole Hudec led Butler in the field events, grabbing a sixth-place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 36-4 1/4.

For the Bulldogs, the second day of the meet was highlighted by a pair of middle distance runners.

Freshman Connor Love posted a time of 1:22.41 in the men’s 600-meter run, good for fourth place, while redshirt freshman Harry Ellis took sixth in the 800-meter run in 1:54.93.

The Bulldogs will return to Bloomington on Friday for the Indiana Relays. Field events begin at 3 p.m. Friday and 12 p.m. Saturday, while trials for running events start at 3 p.m. Friday and 10:20 a.m. Saturday.

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